Lee Bowyer’s men completed an unbeaten pre-season with an impressive 1-0 victory at home to Championship outfit Norwich City.
A deflected Jake Forster-Caskey effort in the 59th minute gave the Addicks a deserved win but the home side were grateful to Dillon Phillips for three fantastic late saves to ensure the scoreline stayed 1-0.
It was a young Charlton side put out by Bowyer with Lyle Taylor missing with a groin injury which meant Reeco Hackett-Fairchild started alongside Karlan Grant up front. George Lapslie started on the right of midfield and with Dillon Phillips in goal, Chris Solly at right back and Joe Aribo in central midfield, there were six academy graduates in the starting lineup.
Charlton played the first half at a high intensity and were very successful winning the ball back deep in the Norwich half allowing them to control large parts of the opening 45 minutes.
Aribo and Forster-Caskey were everywhere and Lapslie’s high energy play meant a difficult half for Norwich left back James Husband.
It was Grant that was the most dangerous for the Addicks, he got in behind Norwich’s Timm Klose in the 19th minute and the defender was lucky not to be sent off after a collision stopped the 20-year-old going through for a one-on-one.
That came a minute after the Grant had latched onto a Forster-Caskey ball, beat his man and hit the post with a dragged shot across goal.
The opportunities kept coming for the home side with the best chances falling to the heads of Hacket-Fairchild and Lapslie, the latter headed over and the aforementioned not quite able to connect properly after crosses from Lewis Page and Grant respectively.
At the other end the Canaries had a goal disallowed when Onel Hernandez curled an effort in from the left wing but was adjudged to have received the ball in an offside position.
The away side made three changes at half-time and began the second half at a higher level. It therefore came as slightly against the run of play that the Addicks took the lead. Forster-Caskey seized the ball in midfield, nutmegged a Norwich midfielder charging towards goal in the process. His shot from outside the area took a deflection off Grant Hanley which left a wrong-footed Tim Krul unable to get to it and the ball rolled into the Canaries net.
The Addicks were able to sustain some late pressure largely thanks to some fantastic saves from Phillips in the Charlton goal.
The first was a low effort from substitute Todd Cantwell with 10 minutes remaining, the Charlton stopper got down quickly to palm wide of the post. The second save was the best of the bunch and came from the resulting corner – Ben Godfrey rose well and connected perfectly with a header which produced a fantastic reaction save from Phillips to push it onto the crossbar. The third save was again to deny Cantwell, palming away a dipping effort from outside the area.
Despite the late onslaught the Addicks held on to complete the unbeaten pre-season setting themselves up nicely for the start of the Sky Bet League One season next weekend.
Charlton: Phillips, Solly, Bauer, Pearce (C), Page, Lapslie (Pratley, h/t), Forster-Caskey, Aribo, Marshall, Hackett-Fairchild (Ajose, 75), Grant (Maloney, 83)
Subs not used: Maynard-Brewer, Sarr, Mascoll
Goal: Forster-Caskey (59)
Nowich: Krul, Husband (Stipermann, h/t), Leitner (Aarons, h/t), Klose (Godfrey, 72), Trybull (Thompson, 72), Pukki, McLean (Cantwell, 77), Passlack (Marshall, h/t), Hernandez (Buendia, 77), Hanley (Zimmermann, 72), Srbeny
Subs not used: Matthews
Attendance: 2,110 (529 away)
Referee: C Hicks